This message was sent to me from Herb Bassett and he asked it be shared because most teachers will be left in the dark. Herb was the teacher who testified before the state legislature with proof that White is manipulating the flawed School Performance Scores and teacher evaluation metric. He got their attention and yet no action was taken to investigate White's continued shenanigans. Please share this information. Herb has offered to assist any teacher who feels they have questions regarding their COMPASS scores. He can assimilate anecdotal info statewide and present it to our legislators who instructed White to engage in further conversation with Herb as this process unfolds.
From: Herb Bassett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: July 11, 2013, 9:10:25 PM CDT
To: Lee Barrios <email@example.com>
Subject: VAM revision for teachers of high performing students
Some 50 teachers of high performing students have had their VAM rankings cancelled. Those teachers had a majority of students at Mastery, Advanced, or Excellent, but received VAM rankings of ineffective. LDOE has decided that they should be evaluated on their SLTs instead.
Not all of them know this yet. Should one get in contact with you here are the official documents or they can e-mail me and I will help:see item number 6A statement by John WhiteI posted some info on Facebook on the LA Public Teachers page earlier today. I do not think that word has spread far, but White and LDOE at least have publicly announced how they would handle the situation.Just wanted to be sure you were aware.Herb
The counterpart to accountability is trust. If we assign a school or educator responsibility for achieving a goal, we should trust them in setting a plan to achieve the goal. Compass is a true professional development tool only when educators see it as a tool to achieving goals for students rather than bureaucrats.
This need for trust is why last winter BESE adjusted Compass to allow principals to make the vast majority of evaluation decisions based on their own assessments of classroom performance, rather than based on data alone. It is a principal's job to understand the work teachers and students produced and to evaluate that work, after all.
Because of the need for trust, I have also indicated that the Department will be looking to expand further principals' discretion in rating educators in the year to come, starting with greater flexibility in the frequency and timing of classroom observations. This will help our principals and teachers improve in their day-to-day work. Please look for word on that flexibility in July.
At the same time, as we grant greater discretion, so too must we ensure rigor and equity in ratings, across districts and schools. We can never go back to a system that disrespects teachers by labeling 99 percent of them 'satisfactory.' This is why for the 2012-2013 school year BESE maintained the requirement that educators whose Compass data rank in the lowest ten percent receive ineffective ratings (this is roughly 1,000 out of 50,000 educators). It is also why in September the Department will issue a report showing the rigor with which schools and school districts evaluated educator performance, so that the public can have a transparent view of each district's approach.
You now have the Compass data produced in your district's classrooms. Because every district's plan for discussing the data with teachers is different, you can establish a schedule for the data to become available to educators. Please complete this brief survey if you have not yet set this schedule. Note that in CIS teachers and administrators can now see a detailed report showing students' expected and actual test scores, allowing a detailed accounting of how test scores resulted in the Compass data. Please be sure to establish a point person in your district for teachers to contact if they have questions about this report or other aspects of the process.
Please remember that the Compass data are one data point among others, including student learning targets and observation. The data should be used in combination with those other measures to arrive at the final rating. In a small number of cases, districts have requested that the Department declare Compass data invalid due to mechanical or timing issues. We have responded to these requests, but if you have other issues to raise, you can email us here. In roughly 50 cases statewide, I have determined to hold the data of specific teachers for further review. In these cases, the majority of students were performing at 'advanced,' 'mastery, or 'excellent,' but the ratings placed the teacher as ineffective. As we move toward greater discretion for principals, I believe these specific cases merit further study and consideration and have thus asked our team to list them as 'pending future study' in your reports.
Finally, the sharing of these data is the next step in our Compass process for this year. Districts will use this information to determine final ratings for teachers in the next month, and the Department will be releasing a Compass report in September summarizing our state's overall outcomes for the year. Per state law, these data shared with districts this week and any individual Compass data are not to be shared publicly.
Like any tool, Compass is as effective as its users are effective. This means we need to trust its users, just as we need to ensure rigor and accountability on behalf of the students we are committed to serve.
As always, thank you for all you do for our children,
Louisiana Department of Education